From the July/August, 2003 issue of Touchstone

The Parables & the Structure of the World by Patrick Henry Reardon

The Parables & the Structure of the World

By way of showing the parabolic teaching of Jesus to be a fulfillment of biblical prophecy, the Gospel of St. Matthew (13:35) cites a line from Psalm 77(78):2: “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.”

The first half of this quotation, found in Matthew alone among the four Gospels, comes verbatim from the traditional Septuagint version of the Psalms, but no extant version of that text explains precisely where Matthew derived his wording in the verse’s second half. It is reasonable to think that he was quoting the psalm from memory, which would explain why he quoted it inexactly. However that may be, two expressions particularly stand out in Matthew’s wording of that verse: “things hidden” and “from the foun . . .


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